Treating IV (intravenous) infiltrations and extravasations involves different approaches depending on the severity and type of the infiltration/extravasation. An infiltration occurs when non-vesicant (non-irritating) fluid accidentally leaks into the surrounding tissue, while an extravasation refers to the leak of vesicant (irritant or damaging) substances into the tissue. Here are the general steps for treating both conditions:
For IV Infiltrations:
- Stop the Infusion: Immediately discontinue the infusion when infiltration is suspected.
- Remove the IV Catheter: Carefully remove the IV catheter to prevent further leakage of fluids into the tissue.
- Elevate the Limb: Elevate the affected limb to reduce swelling and promote venous return.
- Apply Cold or Warm Compresses: Depending on the type of solution that was infiltrated, apply cold compresses to reduce inflammation and swelling for the first 24 hours, followed by warm compresses if recommended, to promote vasodilation and absorption.
- Assess and Monitor: Regularly assess the infiltration site for signs of improvement or worsening, such as increased swelling, redness, or pain.
- Pain Management: Administer analgesics if the patient is experiencing pain, as per the healthcare provider's orders.
- Document: Accurately document the event, including the size, appearance, and treatment of the infiltration site.
- Stop the Infusion and Notify: Immediately discontinue the infusion and notify the healthcare provider, as extravasations can cause significant tissue damage.
- Leave the Catheter In Place: Initially, leave the catheter in place to potentially aspirate some of the extravasated fluid back out, under the guidance of a healthcare provider.
- Antidote Administration: If there's an available antidote for the extravasated medication, administer it as prescribed. This often involves injecting the antidote directly into the affected area.
- Cold or Warm Compresses: Apply cold compresses to reduce the spread of the vesicant and minimize tissue damage, unless contraindicated (for some agents, warm compresses might be more appropriate).
- Elevate the Limb: Elevate the affected limb to decrease edema and discomfort.
- Close Monitoring: Monitor the site closely for signs of tissue necrosis or other complications. Surgical consultation may be necessary in severe cases.
- Documentation: Document the extravasation incident in detail, including the estimated amount of extravasated solution, the immediate response taken, and the follow-up care plan.
- Patient Education: Inform the patient about the signs of complications and when to seek further medical attention.
- Prevention: Proper IV insertion techniques, regular monitoring of IV sites, and patient education can help prevent infiltrations and extravasations.
- Follow-up Care: Depending on the severity, follow-up appointments may be necessary to ensure proper healing and to manage any complications.
It's crucial for healthcare providers to act quickly and follow institutional protocols when managing IV infiltrations and extravasations to minimize harm to the patient.
You can reach IV Infiltration and Extravasation Injury Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected] or by text at (305) 929-8935.